Uncle, keep the uniform on

A relative in Pakistan sent me this Punjabi poem (please drop me a line if you know who the poet is), called “Uncle, keep the uniform on” – addressed to no other than Pervez Musharraf. punjabi.jpg


It was hard translating a very colloquial poem into English, but I’ve made a sleepy halfhearted attempt here. Any improvements welcome:

Uncle, keep the uniform on,
keep the nation underfoot.

Thieves and plunderers all around us,
and your laughter flows like a babbling brook.
the masses have nothing to their names.

Keep us in distress some more:
Uncle, keep the uniform on.

In all directions, soldiers, soldiers.
the boys in uniform flourish while
the common people starve for bread.
Keep the oven of oppression going.
Uncle, keep the uniform on.

Your best friends are cattle thieves,
scuttling busily around you,
not content with devouring the people.

Keep wolves guard on sheep some more.
Uncle, keep the uniform on.

With you are the political businessmen
Shujaat, Mushahid, Farooq Leghari,
Sheeda (Rashid Ahmed) and Peeja (Parvez Ilahi)

Stay friends with men of ill repute.
Uncle, keep the uniform on.

You’ve faithfully kept your love with Bush
and disgraced the nation in the world
brought ridicule upon us from all

Keep us in the hangman’s noose
Uncle, keep the uniform on.

You’ve had your own guys assassinated,
you’ve had mothers’ poor sons kidnapped
and you’ve put Islam in bad repute,

Keep earning the punishment of hell some more,
Uncle, keep the uniform on.

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A candidate, not a ‘ho

I’m not going to express a conclusive comparative opinion on presidential candidates, but I find this fascinating.

I understand people of colour identifying with a man of colour, certainly. Obama has much to recommend him and I personally do not find that Clinton appeals to me very much beyond her womanhood. But there is no reason Hilary Clinton should automatically be described as a “hoe” by anyone but cavemen.
I have found this t-shirt, sadly, touted by women. And I cannot understand women’s a) total lack of awareness of gendered stereotyping or b) total buying into masculinized gendered stereotyping.